James Fenimore Cooper

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Explain how the setting, plot, character, theme, and tone make The Deerslayer a romantic novel.

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It is important to understand the key elements of American romantic literature in order to analyze The Deerslayer by these standards.

By nature, the romantic novel in American literature focuses on an exploration of new frontiers, wilderness, the West.  The Deerslayer takes place in such a wilderness.  The plot revolves largely around a lake (Glimmerglass) and the woods.

The other prominent characteristic of romantic literature is the "romantic hero."  The characterists possessed by the romantic hero can also be looked at as common themes of the literature itself.

  • rugged, wild, uncivilized, unsophisticated
  • virtue was in American innocence
  • sense of honor based on a higher principle rather than society’s rules
  • knowledge of people/life based on experience rather than books or formal learning
  • loves nature, avoids town life
  • quest for higher truth in the natural world

Consider how Natty Bummpo (Deerslayer) coincides with these characteristics, and I think you will have the full answer to your question.

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